I'm dedicating today's Five on Friday to Divergent because it's my blog and I'll fan-girl if I want to. MAJOR SPOILERS (both book and movie) AHEAD. You've been warned.
Overall? I really liked it. The cityscape, the visual effects (well, some were lackluster, but most were good), Dauntless Headquarters, the simulations -- they did a pretty great job. Seriously, I am wowed at their ability to translate such a crazy dystopian vision into sometime-in-the-future Chicago that was simultaneously realistic and out of this world. I feel like I had chills the whole movie just watching the storyline unfolding right in front of me.
The casting? If you've talked to me in the last 12 months, you know I have major beef with Shailene Woodley being cast as Tris. There are so many ways that Shailene fails to fit Tris's physical characteristics from the book, which have a major impact on how she is portrayed and perceived throughout the series. Tris is supposed to be short, pale, blonde, thin and wiry, flat-chested... and Shailene is obviously none of those things (well, she's thin). In my mind, Dakota Fanning would've made the perfect Tris.
I'm also questioning the choices for Christina, who is supposed to be tall and athletic. Instead they cast someone petite and seemingly inept at anything physical... which begs the question, how are viewers supposed to believe that Movie Tris (much bigger and less wimpy than Book Tris) fights so hard to stay above the line during training, and Movie Christina, who is tiny and not athletic, is in la-la-land over Will and somehow cruises through the process? In my mind, Christina should've been someone young Gabrille Union-esque.
Also, Peter is supposed to be blonde (in my mind he was somewhere between Malfoy and Sam "Trouty Mouth" from Glee), though the portrayal was dead-on.
Despite the creative liberty taken with the casting, I think all of the actors did amazing jobs with their roles. Ashley Judd was so heart-breakingly perfect, and what is there to say about Four and Eric? Except Christina. Sorry, I'm not buying it.
Misses? As with most movies adapted from books, there were a number of creative decisions that depart from the storyline of the book. Edward getting stabbed in the eye with a fork, for example, was a major event that I'm sad didn't make it into the movie. I think showing that would've really illustrated the dog-eat-dog world that the trainees lived in (both during training, and in their free time). Not to mention, I think this is going to have major ramifications later on, when Edward comes back wearing an eyepatch and leading the Factionless.
I don't care that they cut the family visiting scene and replaces it with some weirdo unloading cargo scene. I'm willing to let it slide that Jeanine was involved in a bunch of scenes that she wasn't involved with in the book. Though Four's discovery of the transmitting serum (versus Caleb telling Tris about it when she visits Erudite HQ) seems far too convenient. Also I'm sad Four and Tris didn't "go public" after the final test like they do in the book.
I am, however, pretty annoyed at the way they decided to re-write both the destruction of the computer transmitter and especially the scene where Four almost kills Tris. The fact that they placed this scene in front of an Erudite audience (rather than in the private control room, as it happens in the book) completely takes away from desperation and re-connection they're supposed to have in a near-death moment, and instead turns it into an unevenly matched fight that the Erudite just watch from afar. And the fact that Tris and Four inject Jeanine with a serum and get her to destroy the computer transmitter... no, just no. Everything about this is wrong and I dislike it.
Scenes that were dead on? The scene where Tris tries desperately not to shoot Will, and then has to do it anyway (though I do wish Will had a slightly more prominent role). And then Tris's mom getting shot in the very next scene and HOLY COW so many emotions. Shailene redeemed herself for me, just in those two scenes.
I would like to own every pair of side-paneled leather pants that Tris wears throughout the entire move. And her leather jacket.
What'd you think of the movie? Any big plans this weekend?